To Moms on the Wedding Day

To Mom on the Wedding Day,

First of all, Happy Mother's Day. I'm writing to you because I see you on the wedding day and your presence does not go unnoticed. I've watched for years now the reactions of moms to their sons and daughters getting engaged, preparing for a wedding and finally taking those steps down the aisle to be joined with their other half.

But I know know now, being a mom, that 1.) you're ecstatic that your baby has found their soul mate. It's what you've prayed for, hoped for and dreamed of (or avoided dreaming about) for years. But 2.) I see your tears and know that they are tears of joy and what I can only guess (because I'm not in your shoes yet) is sheer pride. You raised that baby. And here they are making the biggest decision of their life, and it's a good one.

I watch you on the wedding day. Not in a creepy way, but in way that looks up to you, admires you and tries to figure out just what it is that you have that keeps your family tied together. I can't help but get a good cry in when mom dances with her son. Just. Can't. Help. It. When you boo hoo all over his coat, I can only imagine what that moment feels like. I long for what you have that makes your bond so strong all these years later.

But I've also had the pleasure of getting to know your children during their engagements. 99.9% of the time, they're the sweetest, kindest and caring people I've ever worked with. And I'm not just saying that, they really are. They've carefully selected their mate and are planning wisely their futures together. That's a product of YOU. I watch you hold tight to them during that dance. I watch you wipe tears during the ceremony. I see you standing in the back of the room as your son puts on his tie or your daughter is slipping into her shoes. You're taking it in. This is the moment you've spent your life preparing them for.

I want to say that your legacy is there. I've seen it. I've been honored today, on Mother's Day, to watch my social media feeds flood with photos I had the privilege of shooting of you and your child on their wedding day and tons of heartfelt words pour out with them in the captions. You've served your kids in preparation for this their entire lives, but on the wedding day you have also served me because I get to see this beautiful accumulation of the love and wisdom and sacrifice you've given them for years and years. I see the product of the fierce love and devotion of a true mom. It's during that first dance when you're holding on, hoping that moment will never end that I hope to God that I can have that moment with my son. That he will hold me back just as tight. Because what I see in your son's and daughter's eyes is gratitude and love. I hope I build the same legacy. So thank you for allowing me into the intimacy that is your family for one amazing day and inspiring me to be the woman I know God has called me to be.

-Emily